The Wires

Public Service Announcement

New York Times [Aug. 20]: "As many as 60,000 American women each year are told they have a very early stage of breast cancer — Stage 0, as it is commonly known — a possible precursor to what could be a deadly tumor. And almost every one of the women has either a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, and often a double mastectomy, removing a healthy breast as well. Yet it now appears that treatment may make no difference in their outcomes."

Washington Post: "A novel data-mining project reveals evidence that a common group of heartburn medications taken by more than 100 million people every year is associated with a greater risk of heart attacks, Stanford University researchers reported Wednesday."

AP: "Federal health advisers on Tuesday[, June 9,] recommended approval for a highly anticipated cholesterol drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, but with the caveat that more data is needed about its long-term ability to reduce heart attacks. The expert panel recommended by a 13-3 vote that the Food and Drug Administration approve the injectable drug, called Praluent."

White House Live Video
August 28

12:00 noon ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

***********************************************

The Oliver Brief. We do note, however, that the so-called 'Insular Cases,' which established a less-than-complete application of the Constitution in some U.S. territories, has been the subject of extensive judicial, academic, and popular criticism. See, e.g., Juan Torruella, The Insular Cases: The Establishment of a Regime of Political Apartheid, 77 Rev. Jur. U.P.R. 1 (2008); Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S. Territories, Youtube (Mar. 8, 2015), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CesHr99ezWE. -- Footnote, Paeste v. Guam, Ninth Circuit Judge Marsha S. Berzon

Jordan Golson of Wired: "Boeing’s developed a laser cannon specifically designed to turn unmanned aircraft into flaming wreckage. The aerospace company’s new weapon system, which it publicly tested this week in a New Mexico industrial park, isn’t quite as cool as what you see in Star Wars — there’s no flying beams of light, no 'pew! pew!' sound effects. But it is nonetheless a working laser cannon, and it will take your drone down. People keep flying their drones where they shouldn’t.... Luckily, there haven’t been any really bad incidents — that is, no one has been killed by a civilian quadcopter or plane, yet."

"The cream cheese is too damn much." Scott Lemieux and I agree.

Sunday Morning Come-Down. Politico: "Al Sharpton is leaving MSNBC's weekday dayside lineup, and moving to Sunday mornings. Sharpton's last weekday 'PoliticsNation' will be Sept. 4. He moves to Sundays a month later on Oct. 4, according to a memo sent to MSNBC staff by the channel's president Phil Griffin Wednesday evening."

Washington Post: "Stephen Hawking believes he’s solved a huge mystery about black holes."

Washington Post: "The case for canonizing [Sister Blandina Segale,] the 19th century Italian-born nun, whose run-in with Old West outlaw Billy the Kid is the stuff of legend, was presented at a ceremonial 'first inquiry' in Albuquerque on Tuesday. If approved, her name will be sent to the Vatican, where it will head down the long (and somewhat secretive) path toward sainthood."

New York Times: Can't sidewalk scaffolding be attractive? Yes, it can.

Terror in Toledo! ABC News: "A man caught on video the moment a public art installation in Toledo, Ohio -- a giant, 250-pound red ball -- decided to run away and start rolling down streets lined with parked cars. Part of a Toledo Museum of Art exhibit, the RedBall Project had been wedged between Roulet Jewelers and Ice Restaurant in downtown Toledo when a thunderstorm and strong winds this past Wednesday evening knocked the ball loose and caused it to start rolling away, according to Kelly Garrow, the museum's director of communications."

... AP: "America’s two foremost Democratic families, the Obamas and the Clintons, mingled on Saturday[,August 15,] as politics mixed with summer repose on swanky Martha’s Vineyard."

Washington Post: "Offering such perks as 'free' bags and 'free' airline tickets, [some credit] cards are big on promises, but they often fall short on the delivery. And although these financial instruments are legal, experts say they are not always worthwhile."

Kori Schulman of the White House: "Today (August 14), the White House joined Spotify — and our inaugural playlist was hand-picked by none other than President Obama. When asked to pick a few of his favorite songs for the summer, the President got serious. He grabbed a pen and paper and drafted up not one, but two separate summer playlists: One for the daytime, and one for the evening." ...

... CW: If you're subscribed to Spotify, you can play the President's list from the linked story (at "Today".)

Washington Post: "Google, one of the best-known brands on the planet, on Monday[, August 10,] radically restructured itself under the corporate name Alphabet, an almost unprecedented shift that reflects the company’s far-reaching ambitions and the vast Web it helped evolve. The move represents Google’s biggest push yet to ... turn the company into a multifaceted General Electric for the digital age."

Bureaucracies Move in Mysterious Ways. New York Post: "The city [of New York] moved to fire an employee for missing about 18 months of work, even though he had the best excuse of all time — he was dead. Bureaucrats at the Human Resources Administration filed charges against Medicaid-eligibility specialist Geoffrey Toliver accusing him of going AWOL — even though his death by cancer was reported in an online obituary.... 'It is my understanding that . . . his employer was fully aware that he was not able to come back to work,' Toliver’s brother Anthony told The Post. 'It is my understanding that my brother’s family spoke directly to his supervisor during his long hospitalization and informed them of his death.'” ...

... CW: Doesn't surprise me at all. When I lived in Manhattan, my mother sent me a gift which came directly from the catalog company from which she had bought it. My father had died a few years earlier, but my mother was still getting these catalogs in his name. So my father's name, not hers, appeared on the package as the giftor. He had never lived in New York City. He was not the addressee on the package. The package didn't come from New York City. And my father was dead. But never mind all that. A few months after I received the gift, I got a letter at my New York home addressed to my father. It was a notification from the city ordering my father to show up for jury duty. Or else.

 

Josh Feldman of Mediaite: "For years and years, plenty of websites (Mediaite included) have written about the many times Jon Stewart has 'destroyed,' 'annihilated,' or 'eviscerated' anything from terrorism to race relations to Fox News. Well..., on his penultimate night, Stewart discovered that he didn’t actually do any of that":

Exit Laughing. John Koblin of the New York Times: "Since [Jon] Stewart started hosting 'The Daily Show' 16 years ago, the country’s trust in both the news media and the government has plummeted. Mr. Stewart’s brand of fake news thrived in that vacuum, and turned him into one of the nation’s most bracing cultural, political and media critics. With his over-the-top presentation of the news — his arms swinging wildly, his eyes bulging with outrage, followed by a shake of the head and a knowing smile — Mr. Stewart attracted a generation of viewers ready to embrace an outlier whose exaggerations, in their view, carried more truth than conventional newscasts." ...

...Stewart hasn't done any interviews prior to ending his run on the "Daily Show," but he did sit down with "Daily Show" producers for an "exit interview" on Episode 20 of the "Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart." You can listen to it here.

Los Angeles Times: "Donald Sterling filed for divorce Wednesday[, August 5] in Los Angeles Superior Court, almost a year after a contentious legal fight with his wife, Shelly, led to the sale of the Clippers.... However, the court later rejected Wednesday’s filing because it was incomplete, according to a spokeswoman. The matter is expected to be re-filed."

New York Times: "Jason Fine, the editor of Men’s Journal, will take over as the managing editor of Rolling Stone as part of what the magazine’s publisher, Jann S. Wenner, described as a 'shake-up.'”

"Where Are My Pancakes?"

The Word Salad King. If Donald Trump's good friend & possible running mate Sarah Palin is the Word Salad Queen, it stands to reason that the Donald would be the king. Slate challenges you to diagram this "sentence." To help you out, Slate has transcribed the words in the order delivered. Not that the order delivered matters much:

Obama Slept Here

For a mere $22.5MM this Martha's Vinehard house on 10 acres can be yours. The Obamas stayed in the house for 8 days in 2013. The current owner bought the property, which has expansive views of the Atlantic & Chilmark Pond, in 2000 for about $3MM. So, hey, the price is negotiable. Slide show.

The Birth of Franklin. Washington Post: After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Glickman, a white California mother wrote to cartoonist Charles Schultz urging him to introduce a black character to his "Peanuts" cartoon strips. When Schultz demurred, saying he was afraid "it would look like we were patronizing our Negro friends," Glickman got two of her "Negro friends" who backed the idea to write to Schultz. A short time later, Schultz introduced Franklin. Oh, yes, & strips showing Franklin in an integrated! classroom upset Southern editors, according to Glickman.

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Sunday
Jul082012

The Commentariat -- July 9, 2012

My column in the New York Times eXaminer is titled "A Conservative Says Conservatives Are Happier than Liberals." The NYTX front page is here.

Ylan Mui of the Washington Post: "The implosion of the subprime lending market has left a scar on the finances of black Americans -- one that not only has wiped out a generation of economic progress but could leave them at a financial disadvantage for decades. At issue are the largely invisible but profoundly influential three-digit credit scores that help determine who can buy a car, finance a college education or own a home. The scores are based on consumers' financial history and suffer when they fall behind on their bills." CW: a particularly sordid chapter in the annals of our upside-down moral code: the most vulnerable suffer the most; the perps drive their Bentleys to Rmoney fundraisers in the Hamptons. ...

... Yes, We Still Have Slaves. New York Times Editors: "When companies [like WalMart] force suppliers to slash costs, corners will be cut and workers will be abused. Congress and the Department of Labor need to make sure that sprawling supply chains and profits are not built upon the systematic erosion of workplace conditions and laborers’ rights."

Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times: "In the first public accounting of its kind, cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a startling 1.3 million demands for subscriber information last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations. The cellphone carriers' reports, which come in response to a Congressional inquiry, document an explosion in cellphone surveillance in the last five years.... The reports also reveal a sometimes uneasy partnership with law enforcement agencies, with the carriers frequently rejecting demands that they considered legally questionable or unjustified. At least one carrier even referred some inappropriate requests to the F.B.I."

Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post: an April 20 auto crash that killed three U.S. Army commandos & three female prostitutes "exposed a team of Special Operations forces that had been working for months in Mali, a Saharan country racked by civil war and a rising Islamist insurgency. More broadly, the crash has provided a rare glimpse of elite U.S. commando units in North Africa, where they have been secretly engaged in counterterrorism actions against al-Qaeda affiliates."

Jan Crawford at CBS News: "Discord at the Supreme Court is deep and personal after Chief Justice John Roberts' surprise decision to side with the liberal justices in upholding a large portion of the president's health care plan.... This conflict has been brewing for some time. You can trace it back to the first full term of the new Roberts Court." ...

... Jonathan Peters in Slate: "The court has a long and colorful history of leaks that dates back to the mid-19th century. Just like last week, leaks have sprung in the past commenting on a decision soon after the justices released it. Inside accounts of the personal relationships among the justices have long been served up to journalists. Indeed, some court opinions have leaked even before the justices had a chance to announce them."

Philip Caulfield of the New York Daily News: "A member of Jordan's parliament pulled a gun on one of his critics during a fiery debate on live TV last week. The parliament member, identified by the Times of Israel as Mohammed Shawabka, was arguing about Jordan's policies toward the uprising in Syria with a political activist named Mansour Sayf al-Din Murad." CW: maybe it's just as well are Sunday talkshows are just innocuous B.S. with video. ...

... AND, speaking of people who should not be on Sunday talkshows. Ian Millhiser of Think Progress: "On ABC News' This Week this morning, [George] Will resumed his crusade against science, this time trying to blame the record heat wave spreading across America on an ordinary summer.... The fact that Will is so completely incapable of adapting to new information — not to mention his record of printing pure falsehoods -- raises serious questions about why the Washington Post continues to publish him." With video.

In a local newspaper op-ed, Elizabeth Warren pushes the Affordable Care Act & pushes back against GOP plans to repeal it. Via Greg Sargent. CW: why can't Obama be more like Warren?

Your Politico Democratic Scandalette for Today. Alex Isenstadt: Democratic operatives are "stalking" Republican Congressional candidates & taking pictures & videos of their fancy houses.

Where Are They Now? Would you want this guy operating on you? Well, he grew up, so to speak, to be a doctor AND a U.S. Senator. Answer in yesterday's Commentariat.

Presidential Race

** Paul Krugman contrasts George Romney and Mitt Rmoney, presidential candidates. It's a great column. ...

... CW: when my grandmother was a teenager, she came across some papers in the attic that showed the family were descended from English royalty. My grandmother was thrilled and asked her mother why she had never been told of her famous forebears. Great Grandmama sniffed, "Because we don't want to let people know how far down we've come." Well, look how far down the Romneys came in just one generation.

M. J. Lee & Byron Tau of Politico: "Democrats took to the Sunday shows to attack Mitt Romney's foreign financial dealings, drawing attention to the Republican candidate's Swiss bank account to try to promote his wealthy, out-of-touch businessman persona." ...

... Ditto from Pema Levy of TPM, with some good quotes.

Sometimes Ads Work. Susan Page of USA Today on a USA Today/Gallup poll: "In the battleground [states], one in 12 say the commercials have changed their minds about President Obama or Republican Mitt Romney -- a difference on the margins, but one that could prove crucial.... Obama is the clear winner in the ad wars. Among swing-state voters who say the ads have changed their minds about a candidate, rather than just confirmed what they already thought, 76% now support the president, vs. 16% favoring Romney."

Michael Barbaro & Sarah Wheaton of the New York Times report on Rmoney's fabulous fundraisers in the Hamptons. My favorite vignettes:

Rich People Are Important. A woman in a blue chiffon dress poked her head out of a black Range Rover here on Sunday afternoon and yelled to an aide to Mitt Romney. 'Is there a V.I.P. entrance? We are V.I.P.'

Rich People Are Charitable to the Needy. Ted Conklin, the owner of the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, long a favorite of the Hamptons' well-off and well-known, could barely contain his displeasure with Mr. Obama. 'He is a socialist. His idea is find a problem that doesn't exist and get government to intervene,' Mr. Conklin said from inside a gold Mercedes, as his wife, Carol Simmons, nodded in agreement. Ms. Simmons paused to highlight what she said was her husband’s generous spirit. 'Tell them who's on your yacht this weekend! Tell him!' Over Mr. Conklin’s objections, Ms. Simmons disclosed that a major executive from Miramax was on Mr. Conklin's 75-foot yacht, because, she said, there were no rooms left at the hotel.

... AND Yet Another Marie Antoinette. Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times reports on the events. "The common person" doesn't understand that "Obama is hurting them." ...

... Zandar of Balloon Juice: "On one level, she's right. We're just too dumb to get how we've been mauled economically by people in Range Rovers with East Hampton beach permits." ...

... Charles Pierce: "The people waiting in line to help Willard Romney hand the country back to what they perceive to be its rightful owners simply do... not... care [what happens to other people]. The fact that this is a bad political message is the least of its horrors." ...

... So these people, who also live on Long Island, did not go to a single one of the Rmoney bashes. This documentary airs on HBO at 9 pm ET:

... AP: "Mitt Romney privately raised millions of dollars from New York's elite on Sunday, as Democrats launched coordinated attacks against the likely Republican presidential nominee, intensifying calls for him to explain offshore bank accounts and release several years of tax returns." ...

... Nicole Fuller of Newsday: "About 150 protesters demonstrated outside a Southampton fundraiser Sunday for likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the home of New York businessman David Koch, chanting 'We are the 99 percent' and 'Money out, voters in.'" ...

... Brendan O'Reilly of Southampton Patch: "Two boaters in waters off The Creeks, billionaire Ronald Perelman's 57-acre East Hampton Village estate — where Mitt Romney was scheduled to be present for a campaign fundraiser — were arrested Sunday afternoon when they failed to comply with police orders, according to police." ...

... Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times: "and the Republican National Committee raised $106.1 million in June, a substantial increase in Mr. Romney's fund-raising pace and a sign of the growing competitiveness of the battle for campaign dollars against President Obama."

Sheldon Alberts: "A new poll for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama's first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership." CW: what this poll really shows is that Americans think the president has a lot more power than he has. Plus, the questions are pretty loaded.

News Ledes

President Obama speaks about extending tax cuts to middle-class families:

New York Times: "The Justice Department on Monday unsealed the indictment of five people in the killing of a Border Patrol agent whose death was linked to the disputed gun-trafficking investigation called Operation Fast and Furious. Four of the defendants are fugitives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation offered a $1 million reward for any information that leads to their capture."

New York Times: "With Spain's borrowing costs climbing again to critical levels, European finance ministers decided early Tuesday to speed up their promised bailout for the country's troubled banks, while also giving the cash-tight government more time to rein in its budget deficit."

New York Times: "Within hours of Lance Armstrong's filing of a lawsuit Monday that sought to block the United States Anti-Doping Agency from punishing him for doping violations it has charged him with, a federal judge in Austin, Tex., struck the suit down, dealing Armstrong a swift and smarting blow in his hometown."

New York Times: "In an unmistakable message to China delivered in a speech from this neighboring country [Mongolia], Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that economic success without meaningful political reform was unsustainable, an equation that would ultimately lead to instability."

New York Times: "President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt on Sunday unexpectedly ordered the country's Islamist-led Parliament to reconvene, challenging earlier decisions by Egypt's most powerful generals and judges to dissolve the legislative body."

Guardian: "Libya's former interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril has won a landslide victory in the country's first democratic election, provisional figures show, defying expectations that the Muslim Brotherhood would sweep to power."

AP: "All six troops killed in a weekend roadside bombing in eastern Afghanistan were Americans, NATO confirmed Monday. German Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, disclosed their nationalities at a briefing, but said he could not provide other details about the incident because it was still under investigation. He said a seventh NATO service member killed Sunday in a separate insurgent attack in the south also was an American."

AP: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has given his permission for the exhumation of the remains of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, a top aide said Monday, days after a Swiss institute reported finding elevated traces of a radioactive substance on the late leader's belongings."

Reuters: "Russia's emergencies minister accused local officials on Monday of not doing enough to prevent 171 deaths in weekend floods that raised new doubts about the country's readiness for natural disasters under President Vladimir Putin."

Al Jazeera: "International envoy Kofi Annan has said he agreed with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on an 'approach' to end Syria's conflict that would be put to the rebels."

Reader Comments (13)

Marie's column today on the "happiness" syndrome is well worth a read. Yesterday,after I read the piece in the Times that she is referring to I thought how man keeps trying, over and over, to fit us all into categories––trying to make sense of the human condition. It also reminded me of this:

Some time ago my husband and I were discussing the word happy because he had categorized me as as a happy woman. I told him I certainly would not define myself as that–-how could I be truly happy when I was knowledgeable of all the suffering in the world, but that I did have moments of pure joy––Well, he countered, you seem happy to me. I then reminded him of the time when he was waiting for me pool side after we had had a swim and I had left to start dinner and fix our gin and tonics. I put some olive oil in a cast iron pan to heat––left the kitchen to do something else and when I returned the pan was in flames and the flames were scorching the ceiling. Don’t recall how I put the fire out but I moved like someone in a Max Sennett film: Scrubbed down the ceiling, stove and pan–––started all over again–and after the sauce was simmering, got the two drinks put together, put them on a tray and was on my way down to the pool. As I was coming down the stairs, he looked up at me, a big smile on his face and said, “Now here’s a happy woman!” So see, I say to him now, you thought I was happy, but that is NOT what I was feeling. Well, he repeats, you have a wonderful disposition. Now, that’s more like it, I say, so I guess we could call me cheerful, for lack of a better word. We have since made a joke of this–––he’ll say, “Here’s some good news–––it won’t make you happy, but it sure as heck will cheer you up.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

P.S. " The fact that Will is so completely incapable of adapting to new information — not to mention his record of printing pure falsehoods — raises serious questions about why the Washington Post continues to publish him." Not only does George believe global warming is a myth he must be one of those conservatives that rate high on the happiness scale. When you live in your own IDEA of the world, why, by golly, you can be happier than an elephant rolling in sand on a scorching hot day.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Marie,

Excellent rebuttal to a butthead.

I read this tripe yesterday and thought I'd take a crack at it today but your arrows hit dead center so there's no need.

But I have to say that right-wing think tanks certainly try to cover the waterfront, they don't miss any angles; and they make sure to bring a lot of that waterfront fog with them wherever they go. I recall reading another report on happiness by AEI’s cousin in ideology, the Cato Institute. In that study, If memory serves, the gist was that any attempt to identify true happiness was pretty much doomed because of the many conflicting definitions of that quality. For instance, if liberal thinkers tried to suggest that happiness had something to do with food on the table, a roof over the head and a job that paid better than slave wages with no benefits, Cato cast a jaundiced eye upon such frippery as being redolent of income redistribution. A big fat no-no in the happiness department.

But after further thought, they decided that owning a Bentley, a house in the Hamptons and having the type of income one might expect from an executive position at Bain Capital, shall we say, could make one very happy indeed. Especially if such goodies could be enjoyed without having to worry about the little people or civic responsibilities. So, you see? At least according to Cato, money DOES equal happiness.

And according to that calculus, there must have been happiness like you read about this past weekend in the aforementioned Hamptons. Plenty of VIPs vying for special parking privileges, all ready to hob their nobs with Willard the Rat and his new buddy, the big Koch.

And speaking of happiness, Willard, the Kochs, ideology, and money, it occurred to me that Willard, famous for his pliable philosophy about, well, pretty much anything except gays and money, by getting into bed with the Kochs, might just as well come out and put that sign on his head “For Sale”. I read somewhere that Willard was meeting with the Kochs only to try to get them on his side of things. Now who really believes that Willard has the passion, powers of persuasion, moral muscle or ideological authority to sway the Kochs? Not to mention the fact that no one seems to know what exactly IS Willard’s side. The only things he believes in are money and power. Oh, did I mention money?

The better bet would be that the Kochs, in short order, will hold up a big check and make Willard get on all fours, bark like a doggie and beg to do anything he is ordered to do. Then they’ll put him in a carrier and strap him to the roof of their luxury SUV for a trip to the White House, stopping every few hours to hose him down after he craps his pants.

But he’ll be happy. Money will make it so. But no taxes. Never, never, never. Cato says no one will be happy then.

So all those little people out of work, no insurance, no unemployment, no nothing, can watch all of this on the TV that’s about to be repossessed because they don’t get to be happy. If they were moral and all, like conservatives, it might be different.

Anyway, thanks, Marie, for outing the statistics of the other Brooks for the cherry picked mumbo jumbo they are.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Re: I'm so happy my face hurts from smiling. I'm not a happy guy; but I know from personal experience and book learning I'm one of the luckiest men to have ever roamed the planet. I love my fellow kind but I'm a traitor to my species; don't trust'em, never have. My species is busily destroying the Earth without so much as a "What the Fuck?". So before turning to Marie's column I'll wager that the conservative is happier than the liberal because he or she is a selfish turd concerned with only the face in the mirror and little else. The true key to happiness is doing something for someone other than ones self and getting satisfaction out of the deed and nothing else.
P.D. All the women I've had the joy of living with would have handed me my drink and said, "The kitchen's on fire." You went the extra mile, no wonder you are a cheerful person.
"You can't always get what you want. No, you can't always get what you want but if you try sometimes...".

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

Count me as yet another happy liberal----especially after learning this morning that Elizabeth Warren raised $8.67 million last quarter, 80% of it from donations $50 and less (yes, I've given a few of those). Marie, get your check warmed up, it's looking good in Massachusetts!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCalyban

Calyban: Thanks for sharing this extremely happiness- inducing information about Elizabeth Warren. Here's to Massachusetts!

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

Re Re: Ok, Finished up Marie's sweater yarn pullout of yet another bit of B.S. from the right. In truth conservatives are happy because they refuse see past the end of their noses. Great, I'm happy for them. The pursuit of happiness is not the same as contentment. I wonder how the datum would read if the question asked was, " Are you content in your own life?"
I have a good friend who invented a medical device that made him a millionaire hundreds of times over. He's a one percenter that has a social conscience. There is nothing he can not have or do. He tells me that the happiest time of his life was when he was in pursuit of his dream. The realization of his dream brought him untold wealth and all the trappings that go with it; greed, envy, spite and jealousy. As my father used to say, "Only morons are happy all the time."

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

@P. D. Pepe & @Akhilleus: I did think about the possibility that "it depends upon what the meaning of happiness is," & I considered it exactly along the lines that P. D. Pepe brings up -- that is, maybe liberals can't describe themselves as "very happy" -- which was the nub of the question in the Pew survey -- when they are aware of so much suffering in the world. However, respondents in the Napier & Jost studies -- which tracked with the Pew poll -- were asked more narrow questions about "life satisfaction," which I think respondents of any political persuasion would probably view thru more-or-less the same lens.

As for George Will, he is a smug, self-satisfied, narrow-minded bastard. I don't think of him as happy. He did express a high level of schadenfreude, however, when the Pew study was published, after observing that "Conservatives are happier than liberals because they are more pessimistic." See, they're never disappointed & they don't put their faith in government. "Liberalism," on the other hand, "is a complicated and exacting, not to say grim and scolding, creed. And not one conducive to happiness." His explanation of the Pew results is worth a read just as a reminder of how distorted conservative thinking can be.

Would George Will actually describe himself as "very happy"? I have no idea. But if being the surliest know-it-all on the teevee & printed page is what makes him happy, then I guess he'd grit his teeth, force the corners of his lips upward and snarl, "I'm very happy."

@JJG: I'd try to put out the fire AND call for help simultaneously. P. D. Pepe sure bests me.

July 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

All you happy libruls remember one thing. Those happy red necks with the happy, ignorant, and poorly informed reelected the worst President in recent history. The same happy groups are ready to elect Willard We will see how happy the ignoramuses will be with a couple of years of Willard and the tea party running things.
Willard will have a ring in his nose and will be yanked around by the wing nuts.
My guess is all those happy conservatives will be whimpering and crying and wondering how Obama did this to them. No red neck ever admits to any failure. Consequently, they never learn anything.
Unfortunately, a few million of us will suffer also and another generation of young Americans will be damaged.
I am not happy and neither should you be. It is written.

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlyle

Yes, cheers to Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren and her supporters! Keep the donations coming!

I read the happiness piece and at least got a (rueful) laugh from it. Right now this liberal household is very happy to have power, phone, internet and reasonable temperatures back after a week in climate change hell from the derrecho (new vocabulary word for us) knocked our community--metro Columbus OH--for a loop. The ordeal made me feel almost as much claustrophobia as the presidential campaign. Trying to catch up on my reading while waiting a bit nervously for an estimate from the tree surgeons.

Any good news about Elizabeth Warren is welcome. I find myself more invested in her campaign than Obama's.

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralphonsegaston

My Little MSM Expose for the Day (from Video Blogs Cafe) :


Martin Bashir Exposes Luke Russert as Water Carrier for Congressional Republicans

..."In the wake of President Obama calling for the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses making under $250,000 and the Republicans predictable response, which is to claim the tax increase will harm small businesses, MSNBC's Martin Bashir attempted to get his cohort, Luke Russert to admit the Republican leadership was fighting to the 2 percent and the 3 percent.

And he didn't have much luck getting an answer. After asking Russert three times whether he agreed with the sentiment or not, the most Bashir got out of him was some mealy mouthed response that if Bashir wants an answer to his questions, he'd better get John Boehner or Mitch McConnell on his show to ask them himself.

Bashir did get Russet to admit their rhetoric was all spin and talking points, and little more than election year rhetoric to throw red meat to their base, and accuse the Democrats of wanting to raise taxes. It seems little Luke is a whole lot more worried about keeping that access to Congressional Republicans than heaven forbid saying anything that might offend them. Bashir laid that bare when he continued pushing Russert to answer his question on who they were protecting by refusing to cooperate on the middle class tax cuts they're holding hostage for their tax cuts for the rich.

Since Russert is the one from the network with access to the GOP leadership Bashir told him he'd have to "suffice to take the beating." Russert couldn't resist getting in a cheap shot at Bashir about his Michael Jackson interview. Keep it classy there Luke. Russert seems to be learning his lessons well on how to be the next Karl Rove dance partner, David Gregory clone for the network."

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Luke is a chip off the old block. His father's coverage of the Democratic primary in 2008 was a disgraceful display of water carrying for the anti-Hillary crowd. Luke behaves like an insolent puppy, which is just what I can hear Bashir calling him.

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralphonsegaston
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